the health Leaks to the Guardian revealed that inspectors in England are moving between care homes that contain high levels of Covid-19 infection without testing, raising concerns that they are putting more residents at risk of contracting the virus.
In recent weeks, all care home inspections conducted in the north of England have been of infected homes, including one in which 38 of 41 people receiving care and 30 employees – nearly half of the workers – have shown positive results and internal documentation of care. Presentation of the Quality Committee.
Over the past two months, inspectors have been checking infection control measures and standards of care in as many as 600 nursing homes, many of which have been dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak, but the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has yet to provide the tests. The Quality Control Committee said on Friday it expected to begin testing the inspectors “in the coming weeks.”
The weekly Covid deaths have been in care homes Height. In the week ending November 20, 398 people were notified to CQC that they had died from Covid, up from 138 the previous month. The death toll is still lower than it was at the height of the epidemic, when more than 2,500 people were dying a week in late April.
The leaked notes revealed that the situation raised “very real fears of contracting the disease” and its spread among the affected homes. An inspector described the work for his managers as “getting into the eye of the storm.”
In a memo to employees this month, Chief Social Welfare Inspectorate, Kate Teroni wrote: “Many of you do two inspections a week, and they deliberately go to check services over and over again where Covid is … I can only imagine the fear I faced.”
Some inspectors were so worried that they had to pay for the special tests. Last month, the CQC revealed that six inspectors had tested positive for Covid-19.
One of the inspectors, who requested anonymity, told the Guardian: ‘People using the services are at great risk during this time as inspectors are sent to services that have a large number of Covid cases, sometimes several times a week, without knowing if they are positive. Or negative. I think it poses a danger to the inspectors and the homes that we visit. “
DHSC has argued that care home inspectors do not require routine testing because their jobs do not require close contact with residents. She said inspectors are expected to follow appropriate measures to control infection, including social distancing, use of personal protective equipment and hand washing.
The CQC has been pressing DHSC for a test for several months. “People are still very concerned about crossing the threshold. About testing inspectors and leaving gaps between inspections. Please be sure to discuss these topics regularly with DHSC,” one October memo from the CQC said to the inspectors.
CQC chief executive Ian Trenholm said Friday that DHSC has finally agreed to start testing, which is expected to start early next month. He said that it would be “in addition to our existing safeguards, whereby all CQC personnel participating in inspection and registration visits must conduct a risk assessment prior to the visit.”
“They must use specified personal protective equipment, have undergone training in its use, and have completed infection prevention and control training. When an inspector has symptoms or a positive diagnosis of Covid-19, they are already required to isolate themselves.”
DHSC has been contacted for comment.